Great Britain fall short of 2014 medal haul, yet still enjoy encouraging European Athletics Championships ahead of Rio

Great Britain claimed 16 medals during five days of competition at the European Athletics Championships in Amsterdam

Great Britain fall short of 2014 medal haul, yet still enjoy encouraging European Athletics Championships ahead of Rio
Dina Asher-Smith celebrates victory in the 200 meters in Amsterdam (image via:

Just over a month out from the Rio Olympics, the timing of this European Athletics Championships made from some interesting calls from British athletes. 

Some of the medal hopefuls for next month's Olympics such as Greg Rutherford and Dina Asher-Smith headed to Amsterdam in attempt to continue their preparations for Rio. Others such as Mo Farah and Jess Ennis stayed away, opting for extra training rather than competition before they head to Brazil. 

Greg Rutherford claimed another gold at a major championships (image via:

The selectors also cast an eye on performances in the Dutch capital, with one slot available for each of the disciplines following last month's Olympic trials in Birmingham

Overall, Great Britain secured 16 medals at the championships, including five golds which placed them third on the medal table behind Poland and Germany. Despite this being nowhere near the 12 golds and 23 overall medals from the 2014 championships in Zurich, the team look well set to challenge for a bundle of medals in track and field during the Olympics. 

Asher-Smith the brightest spot in group of young up-and-coming sprinters

After finishing fifth in last year's World Championships while running a national record, Dina Asher-Smith shot on to the world scene. 

The 20-year-old was dominant in winning the 200 metre title in Amsterdam, claiming her first major title with a season's best time of 22.37. 

The Londoner beat experienced Bulgarian Ivet Lalova-Collio into second place, before returning alongside Asha Philip, Bianca Williams and Daryll Neita to grab silver in the 4x100 relay behind the hosts led by golden girl Dafne Schippers who also romped home in the individual event

Anchorman CJ Ujah leads home the British team to relay gold (image source: getty via

In the men's sprint relay, the team of James Dasaolu, Adam Gemili, James Ellington and CJ Ujah beat a French team which included Jimmy Vicaut to claim gold in a time of 38.17. After last year's baton failure in Beijing, this gold will give the British quartet a lot of confidence looking ahead to Rio where they will be up against the might of America and Jamaica

Young duo grab opportunity and show strong competition form in gaining medals

Two of the younger members of the British squad were the biggest success stories for the team out in Amsterdam. 

In a fast 800 metre final, Elliot Giles ran a personal best time of 1.45.54 to claim a surprise bronze. Giles finished behind the experienced Polish duo of Adam Kszcot and Marcin Lewandowski to continue his strong form after winning the Britsh Championships last month. 

Another 22-year-old in the form of Jazmin Sawyers claimed long jump silver after jumping 6.86 metres in the third round of her final on Friday evening. The former Bobsleigh competitor beat her personal best in the process of claiming second place behind Serbia's Ivana Spanovic

Rooney and Rutherford reclaim European titles

Other British medallists include reigning 400 metre European champion Martyn Rooney who regained his title, and Danny Talbot who sprinted to bronze in the men's 200 metres. 

Martyn Rooney celebrates winning the 400 metre title (image via:

Greg Rutherford's fifth round jump of 8.25 metres was enough to gain back-to-back European titles ahead of Sweden's Michel Torneus who had put the pressure on with a season's best in the first round. 

There was further jumping success for the British team, with Juilan Reid winning bronze in the triple-jump and Robbie Grabarz and Chris Baker claiming silver and bronze respectively in the high-jump. 

A trio of bronzes went to Anyika Onuora (400m), Stephanie Twell (5,000m) and Tiffany Porter (100m hurdles) on the track, while the quartet of Emily Diamond, Onuora, Eilidh Doyle and Seren Bundy-Davies ran a world-lead time of 3.25.05 to win gold in the 4x400. Unfortunately the final race of the championships saw a gold slip through Britain's hands, with the 4x400 men's team of Rabah Yousif, Delano Williams, Jack Green and Matt Hudson-Smith knocked down to third after fast finishes by Belgium and Poland. 

A strong competition will really have helped this young British squad, who now head to Rio to compete against the best athletes on the planet.